Frans Zwartjes  

Experimental Dutch film-maker that creates abstract, artistic cinematic expressions of physical concepts such as eating, sex, desire, the act of spectating, loneliness, the anxiety of a new home, a wife, walls, rooms and companionship, etc. The silent characters expressing ideas are often painted white or employ gothic makeup, they make use of body language and bodily functions, nudity, facial expressions, and various camera movements and editing tricks are used, all suggesting pure and primitive instincts or passions. Made a few silent shorts (some of which were collected on the DVD collection "The Great Cinema Magician" together with Pentimento), and some very rare full-length movies including It's Me, an experimental Warholian 1-hour movie that just depicts a woman at home preening while thinking about a phone call. Reviewed until 2016.

Of Some Interest

Unusually weird short even for Zwartjes. Strange characters in sunglasses or masks run around on a landing and stairs of a house like explorers in a strange landscape, opening doors, doing strange things in the bathroom, attempting to enter closets and peek into doors. The camera twists and turns, converting the house into an impossibility. I have no idea what this one is supposed to represent but it was intriguingly warped.


A longer 40-minute experimental short by Zwartjes with the usual people in goth makeup physically acting out as the camera jumps, zooms, rolls and turns. Women act out, flirt, sing, perform, and pose while people watch and the frantic camera interacts with their weird and melodramatic performances. In between, the actress is lewdly fondled by a man with one glove. Not as interesting as his other shorts which usually feel more focused, tight and convey an idea.

A bizarre full-length by Zwartjes with almost no dialogue. People being kidnapped by people in a black car. Women being processed, stripped, experimented on and tortured in an empty warehouse by lab scientists in a kind of concentration camp, but the nature of the experiments is never clear. Scenes of a man hunting for fish is spliced with a rape and an oriental doctor hitting a woman's shoe with a hockey stick. People eating, and people having an orgy with food and urine. Woman bathing and having sex which turns to S&M. Man with gun and woman in chains. I guess it all adds up to an artsy experiment on power-relationships, violence and a Feminist statement, but it has nothing interesting to say or show, only to shock.

1999- by The Worldwide Celluloid Massacre Table of Contents